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A clickwheel iPod emulator.

Current focus: Getting Rockbox up and running on an emulated iPod 4G (Grayscale).

Here are some clips:

clicky booting ipodloader2clicky booting rockbox
Booting ipodloader2 (a third-party bootloader for the iPod)Successfully booting into Rockbox

This project is not ready for general use yet!

clicky is still in its early stages and has not been optimized for general use. However, if you are experienced with console and development tools, you can check out the and/or for instructions on how to build and run clicky.

Emulated Hardware

The 4G iPod uses the PP5020 SOC, similar to later models, making it a suitable starting point for display emulation. The 5G iPod, known for supporting iPod games, is the ultimate goal for preservation efforts.


This roadmap outlines the plan for clicky's development. The project progresses by implementing hardware components as needed:

  1. Basic Bootloader Software:
    • ipodloader: Initial execution and hardware interaction.
    • ipodloader2: More complex system initialization.
  2. Alternative iPod Firmwares:
    • Rockbox: Achieve a fully operational alternative OS.
    • iPodLinux: Expand support for another alternative OS.
  3. Apple Software:
    • Apple Diagnostics: Run diagnostic programs embedded in the iPod's firmware.
    • RetailOS: Emulate the original iPod operating system.

Unknown Challenges

  • Cache Effects: Proper caching implementation may be complex and is deferred for now.
  • Undocumented Hardware: Reverse engineering unknown iPod hardware components.

Things Deferred

  • USB Support: Complex and non-critical for initial iPod functionality.
  • Audio Emulation: Important but challenging, to be addressed later.

Motivation for Emulating the iPod

The iPod offers a unique technical challenge compared to earlier projects like ANESE, a NES emulator. The iPod uses off-the-shelf hardware, making it an interesting subject for low-level exploration. Despite limited documentation, the project aims to consolidate available knowledge and explore new information through reverse engineering.

The ultimate goal is to preserve iPod Games, a piece of gaming history, by making them playable again through emulation.

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